I love Sundays because they recharge my batteries for the week to come. It's the day on which I practice the most self care in the form of relaxation, reflection, reading, cuddling, writing, and being with my family. Today I took a warm bath, and vowed to finish the book I started about 3 months ago- Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist.
I stayed in there, bubbles to my chin, draining and rewarming the water over and over until finally, I turned the last page. This book really spoke to my soul and had so many parallels to my life over the past few months-really since we moved here. Her words breathed life into the jumbled up thoughts in my head, and she put on paper exactly my sentiments- that life is meant to be shared with your tribe and lived as a marathon, not as a sprint. The world teaches us how to be more efficient, multitask better, be successful, be thinner, be a better parent, really the list goes on, and we buy into it. I buy into it. And I think that a lot of my depression and anxiety stems from this access to everyone else's lives via social media. The temptation to compare our lives to everybody else's is more prominent than ever before, and instead of giving me inspiration to go out and do something with my wild and precious life, it paralyzes me. Too many options. Not enough time. Not enough money. Too many things on the to do list. So many voices being thrown at me, suffocating me and inevitably causing me to shut down and do nothing.
What a loss for me. For my husband. For my kids. To have a mother that is so preoccupied with doing what the world tells her she "should" do that she forgets that she already knows what she needs to do. Those orders come from within herself. Not from Facebook or Instagram or her friends or her neighbors. Not from the news or a magazine article, but from inside that still voice in her own head. I'm not sure about your voice, but mine is pretty consistent. Be present. Not perfect. Show up right now. Not when the laundry's done or when you're 15 pounds lighter or when the snow is gone. Show up now. Live your life now. Say yes to things that make you happy and things that fill your soul. Say yes to spontaneity and to anything that makes you present, and say no to the things along the way that only benefit the status quo. We have say no to make room for the "yes". Sometimes our biggest accomplishments aren't career related, sometimes success is being true to yourself. Sometimes it is held in the hands of the babies you are raising. It's about connection and relationships and humanity, and remembering that we are all God's babies. That we were put on this earth to love others. It's about realizing that our worth comes from being a child of God and that it has nothing to do with what career path you chose or whether you are a size 2 or what's in your bank account. It's all heart baby.
"It's about realizing that what makes our lives meaningful is not what we accomplish, but how deeply and honestly we connect with the people in our lives, how wholly we give ourselves to the making of a better world, through kindness and courage.....I'm finished hustling for perfect. It didn't deliver what they told me it would." -Shauna Niequist
Today was another day of self-care, but it came in the form of saying yes to my children. To walking outside and breathing the fresh air and watching them hold their own Olympics on the hill their grandpa made. To listening to my middle little say, "You can't call me Carter mom. This is the Olympics. My name is Blaze." To watching my daughter pull my boys on the sled with the four wheeler, and beaming with pride when, standing next to my mom, we both said how she's definitely growing up. But instead of feeling a sting of sadness, my heart swelled with pride. I don't do a lot of things right. Some days I sit on the couch scrolling through my phone, and doing nothing because that is self care for me once in awhile, but I now know that self care comes in many forms. Last night it looked like dolling myself up and jumping in the car with my husband and six other women, and belting out Def Leppard, Bruno Mars, and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with the Johnny Holm band all night. Friday it looked like a whispered prayer of thanks that Missy and I weren't hurt in a fender bender, and in the next breath pleading with God that all the people in the other four or five cars were alright too. Self care is a great many things. None of them are wrong. All of them have a place. Balance is where I find the most renewal and the most inspiration. I spent the better part of the last few years hiding under my covers and inside my feelings, and that's not the kind of self care that's making me better, so I'm finding alternatives. I'm liking what I'm finding. :)
Happy Sunday friends!